A GROUP of volunteers is working independently to target young people in the north in its effort to control the rise of non-communicable diseases.
New Start Link advocacy leader Viliame Rabuka said the group was made up of unemployed youths who would reach out to communities to counter the spread of such diseases.
Mr Rabuka said they worked independently from the Ministry of Health and targeted people below the age of 25.
"We are targeting youths as they are young and easy to influence.
"Studies have also shown that NCDs are commonly detected within the age group of 25 and above, therefore, it is only reasonable to start advocating to the age group that does not normally encounter the disease in a bid to nip the problem at the bud," said Mr Rabuka.
"We will be part of awareness campaign teams to communities in the north reaching out to people through dramas, skits and songs.
"This is a pilot program and we have 12 youths from Labasa who will be reaching out during our campaign tours."
Mr Rabuka said their main message was the need to change lifestyles as the main strategy of countering the rise of NCDs.
Divisional medical officer northern Doctor Pablo Romakin said the Ministry of Health supported the group, providing it technical and financial assistance.
"However the work they do is their own initiative and we continue to thank them for their support," he said.